Mother of Convicted Soldier Pleads for Pardon

[08-06-2011 12:00 AM]

Ammon News - By Banan Malkawi

AMMONNEWS - The mother of Jordanian ex-soldier Ahmad Dagamseh on Saturday pleaded to the prime minister to include her son in the general pardon set to be issued soon.

In a letter sent to the Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit, the mother said that it would be a "shame on Bakhit's government to issue a general pardon that would release those who have infested the land with corruption, while my son remains behind bars."

Daqamseh is serving a life sentence for the March 13, 1997 killing of seven Israeli schoolgirls in the Baqoura area on the Jordanian-Israeli border.

The soldier, CPL Ahmed Daqamseh (26 then), was charged with the "Premeditated" murder of the Israelis, who were shot to death during an outing on the Naharayim island on the Jordan River.

The court convicted him of "intentional murder of several people”, and he was demoted from corporal to private and dishonourably discharged from the military. The tribunal however said in its ruling that Daqamseh was not convicted of premeditated murder because he was suffering from an anti-social mental disorder that made him unable to control himself and prevented him from realizing the outcome of his actions.

"My son, the hero soldier, Ahmad Dagamseh learned in the military institution the honor of defending his dignity, and the dignity of his country and nation," Kamilah Al Haj Dagamseh said in her letter.

She added that "Ahmad, whio defended his country, Arab identity, and religion, was never a criminal."

She linked reports about convicted business tycoon Khalid Shaheen, who was sentenced to 3-years in prison for corruption, and was allowed to leave the country to medical treatment, while her son remains behind bars despite suffering from major medical ailments.

"It would be of utmost shame on your government to issue a general pardon for prisoners, and exclude those who are most rightful of pardon, while it would benefit those who have stolen, corrupted, and sold the country's land."

In pleading for the release of his son, the mother who resides in the town of Ibdar in Irbid governorate, northern Jordan, addressed the Prime Minister noting "if the pardon includes Dagamseh, you will have proven your patriotism, dignity, and military honor."

Dagamseh's cause stirred diplomatic controversy in March when former Minister of Justice Hussein Mjalli joined a protest calling for the ex-soldier's release, and had labelled him a "hero," and questioned the sovereignty of the Jordanian state which is not allowing his pardon.

Mjalli's statements stirred the anger and protest of Israeli diplomats and officials, leading the jordanian government to dismiss his comments as a "personal opinion that does not represent the government's stance."

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